That Starship Operators post produced some interesting discussion. The consensus seems to be that said anime sacrificed character depth and development at the Altar of Conclusiveness. (I’ll have to be patient and rely on the goodwill of Amazon.co.uk and MVM Films to find out for myself.) This sacrifice seems to be an acceptable trade-off to me, if the staff are confronted with a wealth of source material and a lack of actual wealth, but OGT disagrees.
Doubtless this is partly a matter of taste. I’ve noticed that the fear of non-endings is one of the main reasons I shy away from adaptions (is this a good moment to mention that the Tytania novel series is unfinished?), though I can understand the sound commercial thinking behind adapting a popular property before the original concludes and passes from the memory of the fickle mob. (Not so much of an issue in Tytania‘s case: the most recent novel was published in ’91.) This may even be one of the reasons for my suspicion of the trumpeted interpenetration of anime, manga and games.
I probably should mention the supposed teleological bias of the Western tradition – or should I say ‘The Western Tradition’? – with things like the Bible kicking around, as well as more local oddities (why, Whig Historiography, I didn’t see you lurking in the corner over there), it’s easy to see why a story without an ending might seem a story without a point. This, however, is a rather troubled paragraph, since I’ve no way to step outside my education, compare traditions and decide if said bias really exists.
Whatever the cause, I find I’m convinced that storytelling’s a matter of preparation and resolution; ‘getting there’ might be diverting, but there ought to be a ‘there’ to get to and I’m not happy if I’m asked to supply the ‘there’ myself. (Incidentally, there’s surely a discernible difference between legitimate loose ends and ‘we can haz moar money nao?’ endings.) So I think it’s safe to say I’m a destination person, a fully paid-up member of the Cult of the Ending. Maybe I just need to grow a bit older?
[True, you can repeatedly refuse to resolve your story: the Tristram Shandy Gambit. That, however, will only going to make me happy if its for artistic rather than commercial reasons (a tired, yet trustworthy, distinction). It is an artistic matter in Tristram Shandy's case, since not having a point is the point, but I've yet to watch an anime with that much wit or that powerful an excuse (poking fun at novels with a novel was much cleverer in the 1760s than it is now).]